Beat up, rusty, scratched and dented. Does this describe your favorite piece of furniture? Furniture that proudly wears a distressed finish can add not only texture and dimension to your home decor but also a sense of history.
There are several types of distressed furniture:
Age, storage conditions or just life can naturally distress any piece. If it is an antique you might prefer a fancy word like patina, but the effect is the same–a time-worn look to the painted surfaces of wood and iron furniture. Antiques often possess monetary or sentimental value and care should be given to protect the original finish and surfaces. But there are many pieces that are simply old and their only value is what appeals to you: the style, the shape, the function or the size.
Here is where the fun begins! People have been known to take drastic measures to “age” a piece of furniture. Physically distressing a piece can be as simple as sanding off the paint finish in specific spots like edges and corners or it can be a bit more involved and include the use of hammers, nails, steel wool and chains. I once had a contractor suggest we run over a piece of wood with his truck to achieve the desired look! As you can see, it is possible to take out all your aggression and distress an item to your heart’s content. Turning found pieces into new treasures is popular with those who enjoy Shabby chic or cottage style design; but for those who do not want to “do” the work themselves, we offer many styles and finishes to please everyone. This storage bench, for example, from Cody Road Workshops is a perfect fit for any of those design styles.
As is this functional console:
Hand- applied or artistic distressing.
While it appears that distressing is a simple process, you might be surprised to know that there is a technique to applying a distressed finish to your painted furniture pieces. There is truly a “science”, so to speak, of turning a brand new piece into an aged beauty. Through the use of paints, glazes, waxes and oils a new or slightly used item can be turned into what is sure to become a valued family heirloom.
The appearance of years of different paint colors is one popular technique. A piece can be distressed to show what appears to be an underlayer of old paint peeking through a newer color. Take a look at these two pieces from Maine Woodworks and you can see the different shades of paint showing through.
Those who admire rustic, shabby chic or cottage design or simply appreciate the beauty of an antique will tell you that you cannot go wrong when it comes to adding distressed detailing to any furniture item in your home. Even a shiny contemporary space will be warmed by the texture and beauty of a piece of furniture that bears the marks of time (man made or otherwise). So pound, hammer and sand away!